Bulgaria Picks State-Owned Firms for Minority Stake Sales

Business | April 24, 2010, Saturday // 14:22|  views

Fifty companies, currently managed by the economy ministry, will go into the recently set-up State Consolidation company, which bundles minority stakes in state-owned firms prior to sale.

"This makes one fourth of all two hundred companies, which are being managed by the economy ministry,” Minister Traicho Traikov told Darik radio on Saturday.

Each Bulgarian ministry will propose a list of companies it considers fit for privatization within the next ten days, the minister added.

Asked about how the ministries will select the companies to be sold, Minister Traikov said these would be only operating companies, which are not on the “prohibited list” that features state-owned, banned from privatization companies, such as Bulgartransgas, the gas pipeline operator.

The measure is part of an anti-crisis package the government adopted earlier this month and aims to raise some BGN 250 M from the sale of its minority stakes on the Bulgarian Stock exchange.

The money raised will be a contribution to closing the BGN 1.5 B budget deficit that emerged in the first quarter of 2010. The total effect of the 60 anti-crisis measures - including raising cash and cutting expenses - is supposed to amount to BGN 1.6 B.

According to Traikov the government has managed to check the downfall of the economy, but more foreign investments are needed for its growth.

Bulgaria's government is expected to revise up its economic growth forecast for this year as recovering exports bolster the expansion.

According to Finance Minister Simeon Djankov the upgrade in the economic forecasts in the next few days can be up to 1%.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov’s government previously estimated the economy would grow 0.3% after a contraction of 5.1% in 2009 on dwindling investment and consumption.

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Tags: anti-crisis program, anti-crisis measures, prohibited list, privatization, Economy Ministry, Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, Agency for Post-Privatization control, Privatization Agency, Krasimir Kozovski, DKK, minority share, State Consolidation Company


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